PepsiCo releasing new soda containing stevia called Pepsi True

PepsiCo Inc. is going to be releasing a new soda called Pepsi True, which contains no artificial sweeteners or corn syrup, and contains 60 calories per 7.5 ounce can. 

The move represents a shift in the company’s business focus as Americans are becoming more aware of the high calorie content that typical soda drinks contain.

According to John Sicher, editor of Beverage Digest, said that soda consumption per capita in the US has dropped 22% since 1998, and soda makers are well aware of the market changing. 

PepsiCo has said the new drink contains both sugar and stevia (a natural sweetener made from plant leaves). It will have 30% fewer calories compared to a regular can of Pepsi Cola.

Two years ago Pepsi sold a stevia-sweetened soft drink in Australia called Pepsi Next. 

Coca-Cola has also been making changes too, with the recent launch of Coca-Coca Life, which  contains sugar and stevia and has 60 calories per can. 

The new drink by Pepsi will be available exclusively on Amazon in mid-October.

The idea that Pepsi will be releasing a new drink with less calories, while it already has its Diet Pepsi drink (which contains no calories), is somewhat confusing. Begging the question, who is this drink targeted at?

Over the past few years diet soft drinks have been subject to a lot of scrutiny because of its use of controversial sweeteners and as a result many people believe it’s worse to drink a diet soft drink (because of the sweeteners) than a regular soda.

So perhaps this is an attempt to build an entirely new product. Pepsi True is not a diet drink, it’s just a drink that contains less calories than a regular can of Pepsi, which could possibly attract those who don’t buy diet soft drinks at all.

However, why is there not a Pepsi product that only contains stevia? Wouldn’t that help rebrand the diet soft drink industry and have a much bigger market share?